CCI probing alleged cartelisation in pharma, telecom sectors

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on September 03, 2012

The Competition Commission (CCI) is investigating alleged cartelisation in various sectors such as pharmaceuticals, telecom and milk distribution, the Government said today.

The CCI keeps gathering information on issues related to cartelisation and if prima facie case is found, then it takes up the issue for further investigation, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs R. P. N. Singh informed the Parliament.

“Some such sectors which have been taken up recently by the Commission in respect to alleged cartelisation related to real estate, pharmaceuticals, civil aviation, telecom, tyre manufacturing, cement, milk distribution, onion and asbestos,” Singh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

CCI is mandated to look into cartelisation by enterprises, which is an anti-competitive activity having appreciable adverse effect on competition that could adversely affect prices, the Minister said.

He noted further that data on price rise is not maintained by the CCI.

According to the Minister, parties involved in cartelisation activities are dealt with severely by the Commission in line with the provisions in the Competition Act 2002.

In June, the anti-competition regulator had slapped a hefty penalty of about Rs 6,200 crore on 11 leading cement companies including ACC, Ambuja Cements, Ultratech and Jaypee Cements for price cartelisation.

The other companies found guilty were Grasim Cements now merged with Ultratech Cements, Lafarge India, JK Cement, India Cements, Madras Cements, Century Cements and Binani Cements.

The industry body the Cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) was also fined.

The regulator was looking into 39 cases and 26 other cases were under investigation with the Commission’s Director General as on June 30, 2012. The majority of them were related to the infrastructure sector.

There were also cases related to banking and financial services, film/entertainment/TV, information technology/ telecom, medical/pharmaceuticals, civil aviation, petroleum /gas and automobiles, among others.

The pending cases mostly related to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant market position.

Published on September 03, 2012

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